Spouse’s pension

The spouse's pension provides help with the finances if your spouse/partner dies. In order to get a spouse’s pension, you must have been married to or have lived in a registered partnership with the deceased.

The spouse's pension is part of the survivors' pension scheme. Finland has two survivors' pension schemes, which complement each other.

The authorised pension providers pay spouse's pensions without any age limit. The pension is based on the employees’ and self-employed persons' pension that the deceased had accrued.

Legislation on survivors' pensions is being reformed

An upcoming reform of the legislation on survivors’ pensions is intended as a response to the evolving needs of families and the society at large. The reform will improve unmarried partners’ economic security by making them eligible for spouses’ pensions and extend the right of children to orphan’s pension under the earnings-related pensions laws by two years. The changes are scheduled to become effective at the start of 2022.

Read more

Kela pays spouse's pension only to surviving spouses under the age of 65. The spouse's pension from Kela consists of two parts:

  • an initial pension
  • a possible continuing pension.

Both pensions will end when you reach the age of 65 years.

Spouse's pensions from Kela and from the earnings-related pension scheme can be paid at the same time. Both can be applied for from Kela or the deceased person's authorised pension provider.

You can also receive spouse's pension from the statutory workers compensation scheme and also on the basis of voluntary accident insurance. If the deceased had lived abroad, you may be entitled to spouse's pension from those countries.

Initial pension

The initial pension can start from the beginning of the month following the day when the spouse/partner died. Kela pays the pension for a total of 6 months.

Facts about the initial pension

  • If you receive a national pension before the age of 65 years, you can only receive an initial pension insofar as the amount of the initial pension exceeds the amount of the national pension.
  • The payment of the initial pension will end as soon as you reach the age of 65 years.
  • If you were widowed before 1 July 1990 and you remarry or enter a new registered partnership, Kela will pay you the spouse's pension for one year.
  • If you remarry or enter a new registered partnership before you are 50 years old, Kela stops payment of the initial pension.

In contrast to the authorised pension providers, Kela does not pay initial pensions to persons who have reached the age of 65 years.

Continuing pension

After the initial pension is over, you can get a continuing pension. The pension consists of two parts: a basic amount and an income-tested additional amount. A continuing pension can be paid to the end of the month when you reach the age of 65 years.

If you remarry or enter a new registered partnership before you are 50 years old, Kela stops payment of the continuing pension.. However, if you have received a spouse's pension for at least a year, Kela will pay you a lump sum corresponding to the continuing pension for three years.

Spouse's pension in relation to other benefits

If your incomes are low, you may be entitled to housing allowance for pensioners or general housing allowance.

Further information